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Background Information

Employment History

Merchant Marines

Full-Time Worker

Chrysler LLC

Grand National Driver


US Merchant Marines


Web References (15 Total References)

Paul Goldsmith (Photo ... [cached]

Paul Goldsmith (Photo Courtesy "Conversations With A Winner â€" The Ray Nichels Story")

"I guess the truth isn't that exciting," laughs Paul Goldsmith from his office at Griffith-Merrillville Airport in Northern Indiana, the facility he has owned and operated for four decades, "but, I raced because I wanted to eat!" Not necessarily the romantic image most have of the inspiration required to run hard and fast with motorized vehicles.Yet, for a child raised in the ravages of the Great Depression and the deprivations of a World War, the availability of the next meal was a high priority indeed. It takes more than just a mundane need, however, to endure in racing.Desire, determination and a sense of adventure are a few of the motivators.And Goldsmith didn't just endure, he excelled. Born in Parkersburg, W.Va., in 1925, his family moved to Detroit while he was a teenager.After serving in the Merchant Marines during the war, he went to work in the Chrysler plant and bought a Harley-Davidson with his hard-earned money.That purchase led him to a lifetime in racing.
Paul Goldsmith (Photo Courtesy "Conversations With A Winner â€
Paul Goldsmith (Photo Courtesy "Conversations With A Winner â€" The Ray Nichels Story")
"The AMA held one of their first races at Marshall, Mich.," recalls Goldsmith."Back then, they ran three classes: Novice, Amateur and Expert.The local Harley dealer, Earl Robinson, had been helping me develop my motorcycle.I guess I looked pretty good, so he moved me to the Expert class because they were short on Experts.And that's where I stayed."
Goldsmith finished third in his initial AMA venture and ran so well on the county fair circuit that he got a call from Harley. "Walter Davidson met with me," recalls Goldsmith, "and offered me an excellent deal to run for them.I was just a snotty-nose kid, and I remember thinking, ‘Man, I've really gone uptown!'" Goldsmith made the most out of the deal, eventually winning 27 AMA events, including five AMA Nationals, as well as the prestigious 1953 Daytona 200, ran on the beach/road course. Through Marshal Teague, Goldsmith helped Marshal Teague on his Hudsons until the AMA motorcycle season started.
Yunick and Goldsmith built a relationship that helped Goldsmith get his start racing cars.
"Smokey was one of those guys that liked to get things done," recalls Goldsmith.
Goldsmith had competed in only one auto race before driving Yunick's Chevy.He had helped a friend prepare a car, which he then drove in a very early NASCAR event at the Detroit Fairgrounds.He won it. Goldsmith's first race with Yunick was nearly as successful.
"It was a convertible race at the old dirt track in Charlotte," recalls Goldsmith."I won the pole, with Curtis Turner lined up next to me.I was running good until I broke a shock, caught a rut, and rolled completely over.I landed on my wheels and never slowed up.But I didn't have time to catch Curtis.After that, I'm sure they all thought I was crazy, and I guess I was, but I was on my way!" In 1958, Goldsmith won Daytona.Driving Yunick's Chevy, he edged out Turner by five car lengths in the last race held on the old beach/road course.Afterwards, they looked towards Indianapolis. "Smokey had always wanted to try the 500," recalls Goldsmith, "and wanted to know if I'd drive.
Goldsmith narrowly escaped becoming a fatality himself.
Shortly after the 1958 500, Goldsmith got a call for a lunch meeting with GM's "Bunkie" Knudsen.
Because of his heavy test and race schedule, Goldsmith turned to flying to make all the dates, becoming one of the first drivers to earn a pilot's license and to own his own plane.That evolved into the aviation business he owns today. Goldsmith was one of the few drivers of that era who wisely invested his money.At one time, he owned two horse farms in Florida and a dozen Burger King restaurants.He has sold those and has the financial resources to retire. But don't suggest it."I'll never retire," states Goldsmith emphatically."I tried it back in the 1980s and didn't like it.To keep busy, I actually got my license to race standard bred horses." Goldsmith nearly won his first sulky race at the Meadowlands, but his horse threw a shoe.He placed third in his next outing but soon stepped out of the sulky and back to running his businesses. At 81, Goldsmith still works daily, flying hundreds of hours a year.He still insists he has to eat. One suspects, however, that the desire, determination and adventuresome spirit that took Goldsmith to the pinnacle of racing is what motivates him still today.

It’s all about number, Not | American Hot Rod Foundation [cached]

One was Paul Goldsmith who's day job was working at Chrysler in Detroit. He started racing bikes in the '40s on the AMA Grand National circuit. In the mid '50s he left bikes under a little pressure from GM as he was running their cars. He was USAC Stock Car Champ in '61 and '62. He also raced in the Indy 500 six times with his best a third in '60.

Paul Goldsmith--a famous AMA motorcycle ... [cached]

Paul Goldsmith--a famous AMA motorcycle racer during the late 1940s through the mid-1950s. His first victory came in 1952 aboard a Harley Davidson at the Milwaukee Mile in Harley's hometown. Paul was a full-time worker at a Chrysler plant in Detroit. His most famous victory was at the 1953 Daytona 200 .

Jon clifton article [cached]

• On May 30 1958, Paul Goldsmith was the first NASCAR Grand National driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500?

Winged Warriors/National B-Body Owners Association - Ray Williams Photos [cached]

Paul Goldsmith in his #99 1968 Road Runner (probably built by Ray Nichels).

Paul and Ray's father were in the US Merchant Marines in WWII together and knew each other at Sheepshead Bay, NY boot camp.

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